RYAN SHAWCROSS was today handed the perfect birthday present when he was named in Roy Hodgson's England squad.
Stoke City's captain has been rewarded for his excellent early-season form with the international recall on his 25th birthday.
It is only the second time that Shawcross has been named in an England squad after a gap of almost two-and-a-half years.
He was an unused substitute for the friendly against Egypt at Wembley when he was first called up by Fabio Capello in 2010.
On this occasion, he has been named in the squad for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland this month.
England take on minnows San Marino on Friday 12th October before travelling to Warsaw to face Poland four days later.
Should he be handed his first cap in either of those matches, he will become the first City player to pull on an England shirt for 28 years.
It was back on October 17th in 1984 that Mark Chamberlain won the last of his eight caps in a World Cup qualifier against Finland.
The inclusion of Shawcross comes after John Terry announced his retirement from international football last week.
His call-up is one of two notable changes, with the other being the inclusion of Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
The squad is: Hart, Ruddy, Forster, Baines, Cahill, A. Cole, Shawcross, Lescott, Walker, Johnson, Gibbs, Jagielka, Carrick, Cleverley, Gerrard, Johnson, Lennon, Lampard, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Carroll, Defoe, Rooney, Welbeck.